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Gardening and Back Pain Advice

18 July 2013  |  Admin

Market Harborough Chiropractor gardening and back pain advice
Written By, On July 18, 2013

Market Harborough Chiropractic Advice On How to Avoid Gardening Injuries

As a nation, we do love our gardens and we tend to spend a considerable amount of time and money on getting them to look their best. And at last, we seem to be getting the kind of weather that enables us to get out there!
As a chiropractor, the most common problem I see as a result of over-zealous gardening is lower back pain.
When we’re busy working in our gardens, the movements and actions required, such as digging, mowing and weeding, differ greatly to those carried out during the rest of the year, unless you are a gardener by trade! Activities such as prolonged stooping and bending, over-stretching to trim hedges, and holding one position for too long, such as when weeding and planting, all place considerable stress on the ligaments and joints of your spine, particularly the lower back.

Here in our Market Harborough Chiropractic back pain clinic we often see the results of over zealous gardening and would like to prevent such injuries happening in the first place. There are several ways to help prevent injuries from occurring whilst gardening.

Many of us know that it is important to warm-up before exercise, and to warm-down afterwards; this also applies to gardening! The simplest way you can warm up is to take a short walk before getting out in the garden, but you should also include some gentle stretches. These will only take a few minutes and can help protect your back from injury. Once out in the garden, don’t go straight into the heavy work first; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chances of muscle strain.

The following chiropractic advice will also help to keep you injury-free in your garden:

Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing, rather than working all day on one particular task, and take regular breaks.
Use a cushion to kneel on or a gardening stool, rather than bending down repeatedly from the hips. Use one knee to kneel on and one knee to lean on and this will reduce the load on the lumbar spine.
Alternate when kneeling between your left and right knee.
Resist the temptation to swing a hover mower from side to side – mow forwards and backwards as you would with a conventional mower. The discs in the lower spine can be seriously injured with twisting movements, especially when combined with bending forward.
Try and use long-handled tools when possible to reduce the amount of bending you have to do and take the pressure off your back.
Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning to avoid over-stretching, or use long-handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.
Cordless power tools make it possible to gain better access and manoeuvrability.
If laying a patio, keep the slab close to your body with a straight back and bend your knees.
An obvious mistake we all make is not maintaining our overall fitness. Take regular exercise and keep fit so that you can enjoy your gardening, rather than using your gardening as an exercise to keep fit!

Prevention is always better than getting an injury in the first place.

We maintain our cars so when we need to brake in an emergency the brakes work and save our lives. This same principle applys to our bodies, if we look after our spine it won’t let us down when we need it.

Seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis can help keep a stiff spine moving better and prevent injury.

If you would like to speak to a local chiropractor please call either of our chiropractic back pain treatment clinics.
The Chiropractic Clinic in Market Harborough on 01858 414841
or our
The Chiropractic Clinic in Melton Mowbray on 01664 561199

Call Melton Mowbray Clinic: 01664 561199
Call Market Harborough Clinic: 01858 414841

The Chiropractic Clinic

Market Harborough & Melton Mowbray